Presentation by Dr. Paul Brewbaker: “Overtourism and Sea Level Rise:  Some Economic Dimensions”

On Weds., Sept. 4, Maui residents and visitors will have the opportunity to attend a free presentation by Hawaii’s best known and most-quoted economist, Paul H. Brewbaker, Ph.D. and CBE, speaking on some of the economic dimensions of overtourism and sea level rise in Hawaiʻi.

This free talk is part of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s monthly meeting. It takes place from 5:30 pm to 7 pm at The Sphere at Maui Ocean Center in Ma’alaea. Doors open at 5 pm and admission is free, but advance reservations are strongly recommended, as seating is limited. Make your complimentary reservation at

Paul H. Brewbaker is the Principal of TZ Economics, a Hawaiʻi economics consultancy. His background in research on the Hawaiʻi economy and financial risk analytics stems from a 25-year affiliation with Bank of Hawaiʻi, concluding as its Chief Economist. He is a graduate of Stanford University, did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, and received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Hawaiʻi. He has lectured extensively in international, monetary, and financial economics. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the American Finance Association, and the National Association for Business Economics, from which he holds the Certified Business Economist designation.

“Just as ‘resilience is the new sustainability,ʻ overtourism is the new GMO,” said Dr. Brewbaker.  “Decision-makers have jumped to the default public policy intervention:  prohibition.”

“Surely undocumented vacation rentals seeking a pathway to citizenship confront us with more nuanced issues to tackle, since what bothers most of us is congestion and natural resource degradation,” he noted. “For both of these negative externalities well-understood economic policy interventions exist; neither externality has anything to do with bigotry (the official name for the assertion that people unlike you ‘are changing the character of the neighborhood’).” 

“In this presentation, we explore some of the economic implications of overtourism for Hawaiʻi, and relate economic policy responses to those which confront sea level rise attendant to global climate change,” he said.”Seemingly unrelated policy interventions might prove surprisingly similar.”

“One of the hottest topics on Maui right now is tourism — and how much is too much for our environment and way of life,” says Amy Hodges, Programs Manager at Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “We are pleased to bring Dr. Brewbaker’s insights and perspective into the discussion, as we look at some of the economic dimensions of tourism and sea level rise for Maui and all of Hawaiʻi.”

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council thanks Maui Ocean Center for providing free meeting space for this event.

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is a Maui-based nonprofit celebrating 11 years of working toward clean ocean water and healthy coral reefs. To learn more, visit

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